A total of 153 registered participants and invited speakers deliberated upon the issues related to various themes of the national conference in Navrachana University. The participations have come not only from within Gujarat but from other states of India and abroad. There are two participants belong to foreign countries Italy and Brazil.
The Schedule of the conference was divided in three stages. After the Keynote Addresses the invited lectures were then scheduled, followed by theme based seven parallel technical sessions. For the participants, there was a choice among the technical sessions to select the speakers and the technical track, they wished to attend.
The morning session commenced with the Address by Chief Guest, Sunil Shah followed by address by Guest 6f Honor, Dr. Vinod Rao. The main take home. message emerged from their talks was that innovations should be made to make a difference to the society and that is possible only if we assume ourselves in the roles of the different professionals of the society.
The keynote address by Prof. H.C. Pradhan focused on Innovations in Education for Sustainable Development. He emphasized that the concept of sustainable development has to be an integral part of our way of thinking, our life style, our practices and our undertakings. The best way to integrate them all can be achieved through innovative methods in education.
Prof. Raghavan Rangarajan’s keynote address was quite insightful explaining the impact of astronomy and cosmology on society sighting examples of Galileo who proved that it is the earth which moves around the sun. Another example of Hubble who, with a telescope developed by himself, proved that our solar system is on the periphery of the Milky way galaxy. Many such discoveries not only were ground breaking but they also forced the society to change its notions that time with a realization about, how small we are in front of the Universe!
The importance of cosmology in finding a new future habitat as one of its endeavors was discussed. He also sighted an example of how Global Positioning System uses theory of relativity for precise location of an object.
This was followed by an informative keynote address by Prof. Vibhuti Patel, on the need to empower women especially from marginalized section of the society with modern technological, management and accounting practices. She mentioned the importance of women’s participation in all sectors and in political and economic decision making process which would be crucial to social and economic progress of the society. This was discussed with reference to some ongoing programs that provide inspiring and replicable examples of institutional innovations and women empowerment.
The invited seminar by Dr. Vijay Narkhede emphasized on the importance Of ‘Environmental Catalysis’ and discussed successful strategies implemented at Sud
Chemie India Pvt. Ltd. In the invited presentation by Dr. Saurabh Soni, he elaborated the role, of application of chemistry in the development sustainable technology with reference to dye sensitized solar cells, Organic or Polymer cells and organicinorganic hybrid perovskite based third generation solar cells In another parallel session, Ar. Hiten Chavda gave a seminar on “Greenwithout change in your lifestyle”.
He gave examples of creating water reservoir at home to cater the need of excess water requirement and sustainable solutions for thermal behaviour of the building and. its interior. The seminar on “Sustainability AdvertisingA Game Changer” by Ms. Jonaki Vashi discussed the Challenges in the field of Advertising and the possible sustainable solutions.
She compared between the consumers‘ expectations and appreciation of the product a few years back and now. The major understanding that emerged is that earlier, a consumer’s outlook of the advertisement was pure entertainment but now, a conscious consumer looks up to the advertisement as a two way process which can involve engagement as well as enrichment.
On the second day on Friday the morning’s session commenced with the Plenary Address by Padmashree Kaitikeya Sarabhai. Through his address, he stressed on encouraging development of logic while teaching mathematics to children and minimizing eompartmentalization in knowledge. He saidbthat instead of discarding the wrong answer calculated by any child, if the teacher looks at the same with a different perspective and starts treating it as a source of learning, it may motivate the student to learn further. He also mentioned that new paradigm for Education should be embraced by increasing our handprints and decreasing footprints.
The keynote address. by Dr. Ravikant Joshi was focussed on ‘development of financial strategies for achieving sustainable development goals of smart cities.’
The keynote address by Dr. Archana’ Godbole informed about sustainable solutions for forest conservation through innovative methods and conveyed that closure to _ nature would always result in happiness.
Dr. Soumyadeb Ghosh in his keynote address narrated the role of polymer chemistry in the exciting story of Bertrand Piccard Who made a historical round trip of the world by ‘Solar Impulse’, the first ‘ “solar plane that flew for 5 days and 5 nights continuously.
Mr. Michael Mazgaonkar in his keynote addressinteraétively discussed about Mozda village in ‘Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary and how he implemented projects like soil conservation, production of organic tuver daal and use of renewable energy for sustainable development.
Among the seven theme based technical sessions, there were variety of contributory papers focussing on sustainability issue through multidisciplinary lenses. There were presentations on a variety of topics like nuclear energy and medicine, green chemistry, zeolites, golden ratio, fuzzy logic, solar cooker, importance of counsellor, critical thinking, Kantha work, understanding air movement by positive and negative pressure, integration of waterbodies, supply chain risk management, credit appraisal technique, ground water contamination, biodiesel and biotilter.
Out of these, some topics were directly related to sustainability whereas many other focussed topics, if seen as a big picture, emerged as possible solution pathways to achieve sustainability and development. And for the same, passion and relentless efforts for innovation through one’s own expertise can are required.
The conference has taught us the importance ‘of finding connections and possible overlapping areas of research. We learnt that we need to look around, be sensitive and make conscious efforts to contribute to the society through our own expertise! We hope, some of the fusions turn out to be the nucleation sites for future innovation!